In a strong, well-crafted and substantively rich speech at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque earlier today, New Mexican Congressman Tom Udall announced his bid for the US Senate. If today’s well attended, well organized and enthusiastic event is an indication for the future, Udall will be a formidable candidate in a competitive race for a seat that – in New Mexico at least – comes around once in a political life time.
As I review my notes from the speech – as well as those from an earlier Q and A teleconference Udall held with Albuquerque bloggers – it is clear that he understands and articulates clearly the connection between this country’s posture and presence in the world and the domestic and personal needs of the citizens of this country and this state. He sees the interconnectedness between the quagmire that is Iraq – an invasion which he opposed from the get-go and which remains a crucial issue for him - the fatigue and ill-treatment of the patriotic and courageous US military and National Guard by an administration that doesn’t care, the need for renewable energy and capping of carbon emissions for the health of our economy and the planet as well as the requisite demand for better education (No Child Left Behind has major flaws), universal healthcare and more job opportunities for New Mexicans.
Udall is running on his record as well he should – both as a five term Democratic Congressman (CD-3) and
as a previous Attorney General for the state of New Mexico. His work as Attorney General included dramatically reducing deaths on New Mexico’s highways from drunken drivers, and working to reduce high domestic violence rates. As Congressman he supported the most recent Democratic bill in the House of Representatives calling for a redeployment of US troops from Iraq with their final departure by 2008.
Udall also said that he learned as Attorney General that it is possible to be tough on crime without infringing on individual liberties, and as a consequence, he seeks changes in the Patriot Act. Similarly, he argued that it is also possible to be tough on terrorism without the use of torture – which he strongly opposes.
In short, this was an upbeat speech with much substance based on experience and common sense. An excellent beginning for Udall in what portends to be this state’s most significant Elections ‘08 race.
Kudos to Tom Udall and his staff for a very smooth and professional campaign kick-off.
Photos of Tom Udall at his announcement to run for the Senate, November 29 by PHKushlis.